Service Forester


Job ID: 13494
Agency: South Dakota Department of Agriculture / Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry
Salary: $17.13 - $21.41 per hour, depending on experience
Pay Grade: GH
Closing Date: Open Until Filled

This is a full-time position with the Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Department of Agriculture, please visit

This position will be part of the rural forestry team within the Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry. The incumbent will be working extensively with private landowners, conservation districts, and Natural Resources and Conservation Services (NRCS) district conservationists. This is a full-time position lasting three-years with potential for extension depending upon funding.

Day travel is frequent and overnight trips will average about 2-3 nights per month. Some air travel may be required to attend meetings or training out-of-state. Normal work hours will be 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday.

This position will entail outdoor work and the ability to walk for extended distances on rough terrain.

A valid driver license is required.

Licenses and Certifications:

The incumbent will be required to obtain a pesticide application certificate from the state of South Dakota.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:

A bachelor's degree and experience in forestry, agroforestry, or a related natural resource profession is preferred. Experience may be substituted for education and experience if that experience has prepared the candidate to successfully carry out the duties of this position.

Knowledge of:

  • agroforestry designs and principles;
  • dendrology, arboriculture;
  • biology;
  • biometrics and botany;
  • forest ecology, mensuration;
  • forest entomology and forest pathology;
  • geographic information systems (ArcGIS);
  • horticulture, hydrology, plant physiology, and silviculture;
  • range and timber management;
  • state and federal laws regulating the use of pesticides;
  • forest fire management, forest insects and diseases, tree biology, forest economics, forest planning;
  • project design and management, urban forestry, agroforestry, and forest certification programs;
  • geographic information systems such as ArcGIS;
  • computers and Microsoft Office Professional software.

Skill to:

  • use a variety of forestry tools and equipment including clinometers, diameter tapes, prisms, increment borers, cruiser axes, data recorders, hypsometers, global positioning systems;
  • have good writing skills and the ability to write complex reports on forest health projects.

Ability to:

  • speak at public meetings. explain complex forestry concepts and practices in easy to understand terms;
  • be a self-starter and can work under light general supervision;
  • analyze extensive resource data and draw logical conclusion from that data;
  • be able to drive a 4-wheel drive truck and an ATV in a variety of weather conditions;
  • use forestry tools for measuring purposes;
  • conduct literature and technical reference searches;
  • conduct soil survey research;
  • use and interpret topographic maps;
  • use Microsoft Office products: Word, Outlook, Access, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint;
  • use digital graphic software, mapping programs, and GPS information uploading, downloading, and interpretation;
  • write professional and technical reports that can be understood by both professional and lay persons;
  • deal tactfully with others;
  • communicate effectively both orally and in writing;
  • work independently with minimal supervision, or with a group in a team setting;
  • use forestry tools: clinometer, hypsometer, biltmore stick, measuring wheel, compass, GPS, data recorders.

Additional Requirements: To be considered, complete and attach your responses to the information requested below. Your responses must be clear, concise, and numbered.

  • Employees in this position meet with private individuals, local city governments, federal agencies, the media and others to share or disseminate forestry related information. Describe your experience communicating, establishing working relationships and/or coordinating with various agencies, groups or individuals.
  • Describe your experience in training or educating persons in technical issues. Describe your audience and level of responsibility.
  • Describe your experience in preparing written reports, memos, or correspondence that includes gathering of information, analysis of alternatives, and recommending a course of action. Include your level of responsibility for the final product.
  • Describe your experience in diagnosing tree problems in urban and natural forest environments.
  • Describe your experience in working or coordinating with other agencies to assure compliance or consistency with their regulations. Please describe a) The specific agencies you have worked or coordinated with, b) the nature of the rules or regulations involved, and c) your role or level of responsibility for the coordination.


NCRC: If you possess a National Career Readiness Certificate, please submit the certificate with your application. For more information on how to acquire a National Career Readiness Certificate contact a South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation Job Service Office. A certificate is not necessary to be considered.

The State of South Dakota does not sponsor work visas for new or existing employees. All persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9.

The State of South Dakota offers paid employee health insurance plus ten paid holidays, generous vacation leave accrual, and medical, dental, vision, and other benefits. For more information please visit This position is a member of Class A retirement under SDRS.

South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Telephone: 605.773.3148 Fax: 605.773.4344

"An Equal Opportunity Employer"